Work placements

Whether it's the whole year, the summer, or a few weeks between semesters, placements are a great way to gain experience and show employers that you're ready for the world of work.

A careers advisor talking with a graduate

Spend a year on a work placement

You can choose to spend a year on placement and gain valuable work experience as a recognised part of your Psychology degree with our BSc Psychology with Placement Year programme.

You can test out a career path that you're considering - whether that's within the field of psychology or applying your transferable skills in industry. You'll pay reduced fees for the year you're on placement and you'll have the support you need from your tutor and the University.

There are a vast range of placement opportunities available to undergraduate Psychology students depending on your interests. Students can apply, for example, to regional psychological services, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), or for roles within government, applying data management skills by assisting in the analysis of policies such as Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations.

Placement organisations and roles

Our students have previously completed their placements with organisations including the NHS, Jaguar Land Rover and IBM. 

Example past roles include:

  • Assistant to Clinical Psychologists working in NHS Trusts
  • Recruitment Consultant
  • Research Assistant
  • Assistant to Educational Psychologists working in local councils
  • HR Business Development
  • Tutor for children with special educational needs

Interested in studying psychology at Sheffield?

Placements aren't guaranteed – it’s your responsibility to secure one but there’s plenty of support available. The university’s Careers Service runs workshops on CV and application writing, job hunting and preparing for interviews. To support your placement search, in your first and second year at Sheffield you’ll also have opportunities to meet with a range of employers, chat to recent psychology graduates about how they're applying their degrees to the workplace, and hear from current placement students about their experiences.

If you don't apply for our placement year programme, but decide that you'd like to spend a year on placement as part of your psychology degree, you can join the programme once you embark on your placement hunt.

Chloe Saunders new

My placement year with IBM helped me to secure a place on their graduate scheme

Chloe Saunders BSc Psychology with Employment Experience

After gaining valuable work experience within IBM's Human Resources Business Development team thanks to a year-long placement during her psychology degree, Chloe secured a place on IBM's graduate programme, working as a Business Transformation Consultant, analysing customer data to create artificial intelligence solutions.

Photo of Grace Ding

I chose to study Psychology at Sheffield because of the placement opportunities

Grace Ding BSc Psychology with Placement Year

Grace chose to spend a year on a work placement with the NHS as part of her Psychology degree. Working as an Associate Psychologist, Grace has shadowed CBT, Psychodynamic, and occupational therapy sessions, facilitated group therapy sessions, and taken part in home visits.

 Find out more about placements

Summer placements

If you don't want to spend a full year on placement, summer or other vacation placements are a great way to gain valuable work experience between semesters.

Throughout the academic year, the Careers Service advertises a number of short placements, giving you even more opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills and gain experience in an industry that you're keen to explore.

Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme

Each year undergraduates can apply to join the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme. This gives you a bursary to spend around six weeks working with one of our research groups over the summer break. You'll be able to get first-hand experience of major research projects and it can even lead to your name appearing in an academic journal. 

Example past projects:

  • Can theory of mind and language skills predict conversational competence in children?
  • Loneliness and weight management behaviours: The role of motives and preferences
  • Improving perceptions of autism: testing the effectiveness of a new prejudice reduction intervention
A profile photo of Jessica Williams with an umbrella.

It was really exciting to be working on current research which could really make a difference to the field

Jessica Williams BSc Psychology

Jessica joined the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme this summer to complete a paid 6-week research project in our department. During her placement, Jessica worked with academics to investigate whether children’s early maths skills were related to their executive function skills, socioeconomic status or home maths activities.

Find out more about SURE

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